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Investigating and Defensive the Gospels #4:
Do the Witnesses Pass the Test?
Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 7, In the year of our Lord, 2015
- Apostles Saw Themselves as Witnesses
- John 21.24
- Acts 1.21–22
- Acts 2.32
- Acts 3.14–15
- Acts 4.20
- Acts 4.33
- Acts 10.39
- 1Co 15.5–8
- 1Pe 5.1
- 2Pe 1.16–18
- 1Jo 1.1–4
- How Do the Witnesses Come Across?
- Each will give his perspective.
- Each will give his personal experience.
- They will have some agreement.
- Later ones will fill in the gaps.
- Are They Reliable?
- How do we explain apparent contradictions?
- What would we say, if they agreed in every way?
- The first century church could have:
- eliminated all the accounts but one; or
- harmonized them.
- The Human Memory
- Can you remember the details of every birthday of your children?
- Can you remember the details of the day they were born?
- Why the difference?
- Annual birthdays happen regularly.
- The day of birth is unique and unrepeatable, hence it influences us more.
- The Unique Events of Jesus
- How often had the apostles witnessed something like the ministry of Jesus?
- How unique was the resurrection of Jesus?
- They only experienced one Jesus.
- Have you experienced something that change your life forever?
- What the apostles saw changed them forever.
- Then they changed the world.
Investigating and Defending the Gospels #5
Pay attention to every word
Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 14, In the year of our Lord, 2015
- Are words important? Does it matter how we say things?
- Compare the following sentences, taken from Cold-Case Christianity.
- What does each one communicate?
- I took Amy, my beautiful wife of 31 years, out to dinner and a movie.
- I took my wife out to dinner and a movie.
- I took the wife out to dinner and a movie.
- I took the old lady out to dinner and a movie.
- Some of these could just be normal for a culture or person.
- Some of these might indicate different thoughts of the husband.
- John never mentioned the mother of Jesus by name.
- Why do you think that is?
- John is the only Gospel writer to mention the instructions Jesus gave John.
- John 19.25–27
- Does that answer the question?
- Words convey much meaning.
- We know that Matthew and John were eyewitness accounts.
- What about Mark?
- The common belief is that Mark wrote down Peter’s preaching.
- Papias (c. AD 70–163), leader in Turkey
- Irenaeus (c. AD 115–202), he was a student of Ignatius and Polycarp, both of whom were students of John
- Justin Martyr (c. AD 103–165)
- Clement of Alexandria (c. AD 150–215)
- Mark Mention Peter Often
- Mark = 26x
- Matthew = 29x
- Mark Appears More Familiar with Peter
- Mark never used “Simon Peter.”
- John = 17x
- Mark Used Peter as Bookends
- First disciple named – 1.16
- Last disciple name – 16.7
- Used in ancient texts as a way of pointing to the eyewitness.
- Mark Included Details that Peter Would Know
- Shows Simon looking for Jesus – 1.35–37
- Shows Peter pointing out the withered tree – 11.20–21
- Shows Peter asking about timing of the destruction of the temple – 13.1–4
- Mark Used Peter’s Outline
- In Acts, Peter leaves out details of the private life of Jesus
- Mark left out the birth narrative and other details.
- Mark recorded the words of an eyewitness.
- Putting this together with the words of the early church confirms Peter as the eyewitness behind Mark’s account of the Gospel.
- Hang on every word of the Bible as you would a letter from a loved one.